Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Elite Restaurant


Ever since my visit to Sea Harbour Restaurant for their upscale style dim sum, I’ve been wanting to try Elite Restaurant, which is another popular spot for upscale dim sum.

It was relatively crowded when we arrived, but we only had to wait about 10 minutes. After we were seated, I browsed the menu. One thing I immediately noticed was that the menu was not as expansive as the one at Sea Harbour.

Here is the menu:

Pineapple buns with chicken filling

I love pineapple buns but I’ve never seen them with chicken filling. I thought the sweet savory combination sounded promising. Unfortunately, the filling was way too salty.

Shrimp har gow

The shrimp har gow were really big, but I found the wrapper to be too sticky for my liking.

Roasted bbq pork

This was one of the items I was most excited to get. I was craving some crispy pork skin. When this was presented, it looked pretty disappointing. The pork looked small and shriveled and the skin was charred. It actually tasted a lot better than it looked. The pork had a great smokey flavor and the skin was crispy, though slightly burned.

Scallop dumplings

Coconut rose pudding. I love the cute heart shape.

Dry scallop roll fun


The inside was filled with pork. There was only scallop on the top.

Mango pudding. I was disappointed by the presentation. It looked like they had just bought it from the store

Crystal jelly cake

I usually enjoy this jelly, but I didn’t like this version. There were too many tea leaves inside the jelly and the tea flavor was too strong. BF said it was like eating grass.

Steamed taro cake topped with dried shrimp.

The dried shrimp added a nice flavor. The taro was a little bland though.

House special sugar cake

On the first bite, there was something about it I didn’t like, but I couldn’t place it. I took another bite later and figured out what it was. It tasted like burned sugar. Sure enough, upon close examination, even though the cake is such a dark brown, I could see black on top.

Congee with frog legs

All the congee items were pretty pricey. I had a delicious congee at Sea Harbour, so I was hoping for something really good here. But the congee was bland. Very very bland.

Shredded taro cake

The taro cake was made up of shredded crispy pieces of taro. It was a different way to eat taro and I liked it.

Shark fin and red clam dumpling

We had a similar dish at Sea Harbour. The one at Sea Harbour was gorgeous and one of my favorite dishes. However, the version here was pretty bland. The inside tasted pretty good, but the outside surf clam wasn’t very tasty

Shark fin dumpling.

This item we also had at Sea Harbour. I thought the Sea Harbour one had been a little disappointing. The broth was bland and the dumpling filling wasn’t that special. I really really loved the shark fin soup and dumpling here. The soup was flavorful, we got a nice little chunk of shark fin, and the dumpling filling was like biting into seafood heaven. It had crab, imitation crab, scallop, shrimp, sea cucumber. This was my favorite dish we ordered here.

Steamed turnip cake.

Pan fried turnip cake is a dim sum staple. I’ve never had a simple steamed version but I really enjoyed it. It was simple, you could really taste the daikon and the slightly sweet nature of it.

The service was really friendly here and very attentive.  I’m so used to poor service at dim sum, that I was constantly surprised by how great the service was here.

At the end of the meal, I felt myself trying to decide which place I had liked better: Sea Harbour or Elite. It was hard to decide because each had their good points and bad. Overall, I like the food better at Sea Harbour and I love all the choices.  The Elite menu is more limited. However, a limited menu means a smaller bill. Our bill at Sea Harbour was almost twice as much as our Elite bill because Sea Harbour offers a lot of specialized dishes which are quite pricey.

The wait time was shorter at Elite and I liked their service better. Both places had good service, but the Elite servers were friendlier. There were more “misses” on dishes at Elite, but the ones I liked, I really really liked.

I’ll probably come back to both again, depending on what I’m in the mood for, but I probably slightly prefer Sea Harbour more.

Elite Restaurant
700 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-9998

Elite Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

8 Responses to “Elite Restaurant”

  1. 1

    Faye — February 23, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Your last pic of the steamed turnip cake looks like bowl of congee :)

    The roast pork looked so sad – was it really expensive ? It’s so funny b/c yesterday I was re-reading you and Kirk’s post on Yum Cha cafe b/c I’m looking for a place that has party trays that i can order for a bday party.

    I just went to LA this weekend and friends took us to New Capital dim sum in Rowland Heights – have you been there? Pretty good dim sum but it’s absolute madness (and horrible service).

    I wish SD had an upscale dim sum place (coming from a person who’s going to check out cheapo Yum Cha Cafe soon!)

    • Kirbie replied: — February 23rd, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

      Ive never had the party tray at Yum Cha. You’ll have to tell me how it is. China Max is kind of upscale, but it doesn’t have as much variety. The pork was $6 I think? I need to go back and check. I just realized the menu pics doesn’t have the prices for each dish size. I think I saved the ordering menu with prices somewhere.

  2. 2

    Sandy — February 23, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

    I’ve never been to Elite, but I’ve been to Sea Harbour (although that was a few years ago). I’ve never seen anything like the house special sugar cake – it kind of looks like a darker version of the white sugar cake. Do you know if it’s supposed to have a caramel taste? Too bad yours had a burnt sugar taste.

    Now I want some dim sum!

    • Kirbie replied: — February 23rd, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

      I wasn’t sure what the house special sugar cake was supposed to taste like. I haven’t seen it on the menu before. I’m thinking it was also supposed to be similar to white sugar cake but using a diff sugar, like the black sugar that is supposedly healthy (not sure where to buy it here).

  3. 3

    snippets of thyme — February 23, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    We love dim sum around here. You had some different items there from what we have seen. Our newly adopted city of Houston has a huge China town. I actually just posted an article on our recent trip to this fabulous Asian grocery store. We went in search of interesting snacky items. It was fun and yummy.

    • Kirbie replied: — February 23rd, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

      Actually the items at this place are pretty unique compared to the other dim sum places I’ve been to also. That is one of the things that makes this place and the other one, Sea Harbour unique. They serve upscale dim sum items you can’t find at many typical dim sum places. I love the normal ones too but it’s nice to try new things.

  4. 4

    Stephen Soon — February 23, 2011 @ 11:13 pm

    Hey Kirbie!

    I love Elite! The steamed turnip cake is very unique but extremely tasty. Another thing that I have never seen before is the duck egg ??? ?Custard Steamed Bun?) Its like a gooey liquid warm center that you have to be careful when you eat it and gushes in your mouth. Probably my favorite dessert bun.

    Steve

    • Kirbie replied: — February 24th, 2011 @ 1:15 am

      Darn, I missed that one! I forgot to order it. Next time I will.

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